You may not know this about me but I do some sort of work out just about every morning. Sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes it’s strength training videos on youtube. It’s never longer than an hour (lets me honest mostly thirty minutes) and it’s not crazy intense but it’s an important part of my day that I rarely skip even on my laziest of mornings. So naturally when I noticed the bums on my spandex workout shorts starting to wear out and pill I decided it was time to make some of my own.
My pattern choice was easy. I love the style lines on these Seamwork Aires leggings. They are so modern and edgy looking. Plus I already had several credits in my Seamwork account so its kind of like they were free! :-p I also knew it would be quite easy to do a shorts version simply by hacking them off right above the style lines.
Fabric was a little more difficult. I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work, so I really wanted to be conscious of my buying choice. I was hoping to find either a recycled poly spandex or an organic cotton spandex and let me tell you…. both were very difficult to source. I didn’t find much in the way of recycled poly, so I went with this organic cotton spandex I found from Koshtex on Ebay. They assured me that it was thick enough for leggings (not trying to show everyone my buttcrack through thin stretched out fabric). However, I was not surprised to find that it indeed was not thick enough, and it was quite translucent when stretched. So I decided to double it up which I was worried would be too hot but has actually been fine. On the leggings I only doubled up the top section above the accent panel. The power mesh I used in the accent panel was from my stash, leftover from this Watson Bra make.
You may be surprised at my choice for solid black fabric. Being the bright color, print fanatic that I am, oddly enough I prefer to be minimalist in my workout gear. I’m not into all the wild and crazy spandex print leggings you see. Plus that way if I do decide to go straight from yoga to the store whatever shirt I throw on top will always match. I wear the shorts a lot as PJs when we are staying with friends and the same applies. Comfy, simple, versatile.
I made the leggings first, and after testing them out decided to change up the waistbands on my shorts to be more like the RTW ones I was getting rid of. Instead of a curved waistband with only a 1/4” elastic around the top seam allowance, I wanted a more substantial waistband that could really support me and stay in place through all the bending and sweating. I decided to cut a straight fold-over waistband and use a full 1.5” elastic. Construction-wise, I didn’t want to worry about the elastic twisting or scrunching so instead of a casing I first sewed the elastic and waistband pieces in a loop, folded the waistband around the elastic, and serged everything all together to the shorts. The result is perfect and I’m wearing them every day!
I made one pair of the leggings and five pairs of shorts! I knew I would wear the shorts more (I still have a good amount of RTW leggings that are in good condition) so I just cut out as many as I could get out of the fabric I had. My only problem with the fabric is the leggings tend to bunch and bag at the knee. Perhaps next time I will dig further on the recycled poly route? Anyone know of any good eco conscious sources for athletic fabric?
See these in action here:
Pattern: Seamwork Aires
Size Sewn: 0?
Fabric: Organic Cotton Spandex + power mesh from stash
Notions: just thread!
Difficulty: Super easy!
Adjustments: Changed waistband on shorts to a straight waistband with 1.5” elastic
Finishes: Serged seams, twin needle hems
Time: Less than two hours!
Sew it again? Yes! I think these will be a staple now next time I need to replenish.
Next up on my athletic wear list are sports bras! I only have two and they are both getting stretched out. Pattern recommendations welcome!!